Service Makes the Difference – River Cruise – Part 2

Detail Oriented Service

As I sit waiting to go through one of the many locks (in total more than 60) on this voyage, I am stumped on where to begin and how to share with you how much fun I am having with the food and how much I appreciate the detail oriented service from the ship’s staff. I do miss cooking though, and can’t wait to get back to my kitchen to play with the new spices and pastes I picked up. At home I would just rattle some pans, but I think Chef Daniel might take umbrage with me just waltzing into his kitchen. For the record, I have asked for a tour of the kitchen and have yet to be invited to check it out. According to Marin, the hotel manager, the entire kitchen is electric. As one would expect, no open flames are on board. And there are of course safety concerns with allowing guests into “behind the scenes” areas of the ship.

Continued Excellence from the Kitchen

The food on board this trip continues to be quite excellent. If you have ever been on an ocean cruise, you know how fucking miserable THAT food is, and that is SO not the case here. I expected after the Welcome Dinner (see Part 1) that the food would be simpler, or somehow “less” and that is not the case AT ALL (witness John’s lamb shank, below, from the other night). Continued excellence from the kitchen and the bar staff pleases me to no end. The freshly baked-on-board breads and the variety of European cheeses are truly wonderful. And I feel quite virtuous that I am skipping dessert most evenings or selecting the cheese plate. The other fun thing about the food on board is that regional specialties are served as you sail. For instance in Hungary we had Paprikash, in Austria there was Schnitzel and so on. And to make it even more special, they gifted me with a set of recipe cards of some of the dishes that we have enjoyed on this cruise.

Lamb Shank with roasted root veg
Roast Duck with red cabbage and potato dumpling
Recipe cards featuring some of the recipes from this cruise and a few other Uniworld itineraries as well.

Special Surprise for our 30th Anniversary

Our cabin attendant, Veronika, is a gem. Fast and efficient, she always makes sure the room is perfect whenever we return from any adventure. Upon returning from dinner one night, there was a bottle of bubbly, rose petals, a bow and electric candles set out as a special gift for our 30th Anniversary. I am not sure if a staff member overheard us talking, or our travel agent, Phillip Archer, clued them in, but it was an unexpected treat!

We came back from dinner to THIS – chocolates, bubbly German “champagne” and a beautiful setting. And yes, those are electric candles.

The service from the wait staff in the dining room and bar are spot on! Because the ship is intimate, they are able to provide personalized service and attention. After a few meals, they know I don’t drink coffee, skip dessert most evenings, and always want water. The bartenders know what I want to drink and have it ready in an instant.

Uniworld must have a lock on the best tour guides in the river valley. Without exception, each of the guides has been knowledgeable, entertaining and fun to be with. At the Melk Abbey, we were guided by docents of the abbey, but in every other city thus far, we have had a local who gives great tips on what to see, do and eat outside of the tour. So far my faves have been Elizabeth at the hops farm and Stephanie in Bamberg.

Here I am, bedecked with a freshly cut wreath of hops at the Hallertau Hops Farm. Just call me the Hops Queen!
This is the original “town hall” or Court in Bamberg. When royalty came to visit they stayed nearby and all of the merchants and “support staff” worked from here to accommodate the royals. Grain, beer and other consumables were stored here as well. This building was used in The Three Musketeers version with Orlando Bloom and Mila Jovovich.

And let us not forget our Cruise MANAGER (not cruise director) Heidicha (Pronounced Hi-DEE cha)! She has the patience of Job and has demonstrated that time and again this cruise, not only with me (and I can’t remember SHIT!) but also with a few problem children who don’t listen to anything anyone says. I plan things and get paid to it, but I’d be slapping someone if I had to do her job. She’s incredible


Stay tuned for more soon! John upgraded our cabin to a suite for the remainder of the voyage and all I can say is WOW! We now have an honest to goodness butler . No. I am not kidding. His name is Panche (pahn SHAY). Follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For Facebook, enable ALL notifications so you never miss a post.

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